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Mon-Preston FOP lawyer likes Morgantown police board changes, but still looking at legal action

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The attorney representing the Mon-Preston Fraternal Order of Police is satisfied with changes made to Morgantown’s citizens’ police review board, but she is still planning to continue pursuing legal action.

Teresa Toriseva is representing the body over a dispute related to the body and the proposed Civilian Police Review and Advisory Board. City officials agreed last month to remove the authority for the board to conduct investigations and hearings into alleged police misconduct.

“Most of what offended civil service and violated state law has been taken out of this ordinance,” Toriseva said Wednesday. “In concept, of course, the FOP is not opposed to what some of the goals are.”

Toriseva still has concerns about the proposal, including provisions allowing the board to interview witnesses and provide the police chief with input about a final decision on discipline.

“Unfortunately, we’re still headed to court,” she said. “It is a much more discreet couple of issues than what really was a disaster of a proposal that has mostly been gutted.”

Toriseva and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey have raised concerns about the review board, noting how some provisions would violate portions of state code. Toriseva noted Wednesday she is hoping to avoid taking the matter to court, but it is an option if the related ordinance passes.

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